Me Time

It’s been a rough couple of days. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of losing Noah and today marks 11 months since Natalie passed.

Yesterday morning I woke up with tears in my eyes and reached for “Noah” (the reborn doll) and held him. I rocked him and rubbed his back while tears silently slipped away.

I looked over at Don, still in a dead sleep and I rested Noah on his chest, trying to remember what it looked like when Tayla was that tiny…

I indulged in my grief for a few more minutes and then got ready to start the day.

I had an appointment with the endocrinology department to follow up on my diabetes.

The nurse took me back to a room and asked if I wanted to have my A1c drawn. (The A1c is a blood test that measures what percent of glucose, or sugar has bonded to your blood cells. It changes every 3 months and I was told if I got it down to seven percent before I got pregnant, it would be like I wasn’t diabetic at all.)

“It’s only been three weeks” I told the nurse.

“So do you want to skip it? Shey said to leave it up to you…”

I thought about it for a moment before replying.

“I HAVE been kicking tons of ass these past three weeks, let’s check it!”

Why I volunteered to have myself poked again when I know damn well I have to do it to myself seven more times throughout the day is beyond me.

She pricked my finger and took my meter to download all the information and told me Shey would be with me shortly.

A couple of minutes later, she knocked on the door as she walked into the room.

“Did she tell you?” Shey asked

“Tell me what?”

“Your A1c, it changes and in what takes people three months to do, you have done in three weeks. You have dropped an entire percentage point! You need to find something really nice to do for yourself… this is great work. Some women get pedicures, others get flowers…”

I cut her off.

“I can have flowers or I can have cats” I told her.

Later that night I went to my group, it was good to be around people even though I didn’t feel very social. Sometimes anything is better than being alone with my thoughts.

“One down, one to go” I thought as I readied for bed.

I woke up this morning thinking about her. It was a thought I’m pretty sure I’ve had before, but this morning I felt it.

“God, I am so lucky to have had Nat in my life. Such a phenomenal person… I’m so thankful to have had what time I did with her.”

I actually did a double take, you know, to see who the fuck was thinking these almost foreign words… then, as cheesy as it sounds? I felt my heart smile. I felt at peace. It lasted only a minute as the flood of other memories came frantically on top of one another, all fighting for their 15 minutes but I did wonder how much of it had to do with the A.R.T therapy.

On top of it being the 11 month anniversary, it’s a damn dreary day… so, I decided what I wanted to do for myself and thought it also was something Nat would like too.

I went back to Empire Beauty School and had my hair done. I also listened to The Steve Miller Band, The Joker, and heard Nat sing along like she used to do-

“Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I sure don’t want to hurt no one”

“Well don’t you worry, don’t worry, no don’t worry mama
Cause I’m right here at home”

Sometimes when I think about her too much, I want to just hurry up through life and be done with it so I can be with her again… and as much as I miss her and how much it hurts, another song comes to mind…

See You Again.

Why did I just do that to myself?!?!? If you have kleenex nearby and want a good cry, check out the video above. It has the lyrics posted that that’s what broke me. Momentarily.

So, what did I do with my hair? Oddly enough, I was excited to get it back to my “normal”, natural, boring (no crazy colors) color with a few highlights. Again, they did a fantastic job! Really happy with the results!

shareFromBeautyPlus

Not the greatest pic but good enough, dammit. And good enough is kinda what I’ve been going for… so… NAILED IT.

A.R.T.-ist (Part 2)

Last night while writing my blog post, I fell asleep. A couple of times… so I cut the post short and in doing so, I forgot to tell you how it all ended!

After the last “pass”, Darlene asked if I wanted to work on it some more. I couldn’t though. I was so drained. I confessed that the second half of the time I didn’t even have a single thought. I needed all of my energy to just follow her hand.

“Ok, well, let’s get you across the bridge at least”.

I guess this is how all sessions end. Going over a bridge and towards a fountain.

So I imagined myself on a cobblestone bridge, holding my therapists’ hand. We walked cautiously forward. About half way across, I let go of his hand and bolted the rest of the way, without even looking back. I was about 6 years old and at the fountain we used to visit when we went to grandma’s house. I started to laugh and splash in the water that changed colors. Almost immediately I saw Natalie. She was her four year old self and transparent, as was our grandma who was seated on the bench, watching us as she always did.

At this point, I did have a lump in my throat and tears teetering on the edge of my eyelids.

I was torn. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I didn’t feel the same heaviness that had been with me all these months and I was afraid. I was afraid if I felt better, that was somehow betraying my sister. It hasn’t even been a full year yet, how can I just be “over it”? Isn’t that dishonoring her?

No one wants to feel bad but somehow I felt I HAD to…

Then I remembered a quote from long ago:

“Suffering is no proof of love”. Nor is it proof of loyalty or dedication or anything other than suffering.

My brain and my body are still at odds with each other, for now.

I expect that will change in time.

The thing that won’t change? My love for her.

A.R.T.-ist

This past Thursday, I had my first (real) A.R.T. (accelerated resolution therapy) session.

It was pretty amazing. The first time we met, we talked about what issue(s) I wanted to work on and if A.R.T. was a good option. I was there strictly to work on my grief over Natalie. She had me recount the “scene” that currently plays through my mind when I feel like I’m losing it. I started from the morning of May 19th, when I got the call from my brother up to the viewing and funeral. It’s a four-day scene and she said I needed to chunk it down. Thursday I was ready. I started from sitting in the bank, waiting for a teller so I could open a checking account. I was in a chair, reading a story about the mayor and how whenever someone in Minneapolis was killed by a gang or gun violence, he would go with police to inform the family.

“What a horrible job to have” I remember thinking.

I remember hearing my phone ring and seeing Justin’s phone number.

“He’s going to ask me to work” I thought.

That was not the case. We talked and then I held my stomach all the way to my parent’s house.

After I went through this “scene” in my mind (while following the movement of her hand) we did a body scan.

“What do you notice?” she asked.

“I have a headache. My chest feels heavy, so heavy I feel like it might cave in on me. The rest of me feels numb.”

“Would you like to move that around?”

“Um, sure…”

She told me that some people imagine a magnet, sucking the pain out of them or angels pulling out the energy. I had a vision of Bruce Lee, punching the headache away.

Half way through though, he got tired and I saw my grandma. She held my head in her hands.

“How do you feel?” Darlene asked.

“I still have my headache but the pressure in my chest is gone. I mean, I feel so much lighter…”

The second “pass” ( a term meaning a round of hand movement while I follow it with my eyes -similar to EMDR therapy) was me getting to be the director. I just have to adjust the scene to something more acceptable.

We begin again. The first thing I notice is that I’m standing in the bank in a long, flowy skirt and a Hawaiian shirt. Natalie was married in Hawaii. I’m reading the paper again and the tiny, thumbnail photo of the mayor turned from a black and white copy to full color and climbed out of the paper. He sat in a chair to me and took my hand.

“It’s going to be alright” he assured me.

I was confused.

“You’re going to get some bad news, but it’ll be ok, I promise.”

I pulled away, scared.

The phone rang. It was Justin.

“You know how Nat always wanted to join the circus?”

“Um, no…”

“Fuck it. I’m not going to lie to you. Natalie met up with CW and they went flying together.”

(CW was a friend of the family who passed away in 2006 due to a fatal car accident. Natalie often had dreams of him where they’d go flying together.)

My breath caught in my throat. I was sad but not overly so. I felt almost a relief… she wasn’t in pain or suffering. She was with loved ones, watching over us left here on Earth.

Justin continued “I think we need to do something. Get together, maybe watch some fireworks, see if she says hi”.

(Fireworks are our mom’s symbol for death)

Next thing I knew, we were on a hilltop, watching colors explode in the sky. Shortly after the show started, the word “hi” appeared, along with a heart and the name Nat.

Another body scan revealed my headache had vanished as well and I felt an odd sensation, like trying to keep a beach ball under the water and it just won’t stay submerged. Intellectually, I knew I was sad. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a terrible thing to go through and yet, I couldn’t get my body to go along with it. I felt light and free. I could breathe without difficulty, without tears…

That was Thursday. Today, Sunday (Easter) it came back a little bit. One of the last of the lasts. The last of the “firsts”. First Easter without her. One more to go: Mother’s Day. That’ll be a bitch.

I’m going to keep going with this A.R.T. and of course, I’ll keep you guys updated.

Happy Easter! Good Night!

Eye

8 Late?

Wow. I just looked up the last time I posted and it’s been a month. To the day. So, four weeks, I usually blog twice a week… I’m eight posts behind! Eep. Sorry. I probably won’t be making those up, but I will try EXTRA hard to continue from here on out to stay on track.

What’s been up? Well, since you asked… I’ll tell you.

I’ll start with the heavier stuff so we can end on a more upbeat note, sound good? Good. Or goodbye, depending on whether or not you’re ok with a heavy subject.

If I’m remembering correctly, a month ago I got caught up a week early with my brother’s birthday and Natalie’s death date being the same day, the 19th (of March and May, respectively). Coincidentally (ha ha) the waitress of the restaurant we went to celebrate my baby brother’s (at 31!) birthday was named Natalie. I’m still having a hard time with grief. I cannot believe how little time has “healed”. I know there has been some progress because I can at least remember one or two times together that I can actually smile at… in addition to crying but not in place of.

Next up? I’m not sure if I mentioned this before or not…  I signed up for Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy – Funniest Person with a Day Job contest. My date is May 2nd, it’s a Tuesday and I’m kinda scared outta my mind… I’m sure it’ll be fine though. As long as I get to working on my material soon!

Third on the agenda. Therapy. I am starting a new type of therapy called A.R.T. It stands for accelerated resolution therapy and is similar to EMDR. It has done wonders for my friend and I figure what have I got to lose?

And lastly, man, this is a hearty post. Nice and condensed. I’m just trying to get y’all caught up so I can start again on Sunday… The husband and I have decided to try for another baby.

I’ve seen and talked with my doctors to figure out how to get my body ready for another go round and it’s been really helpful.

I’m so on top of my blood sugars, I can hardly believe it but I’ve got the needle marks and pin pricks to prove it!

I’ve been going with Tayla and working out twice a week.

Taking a prenatal vitamin, even though the doc thinks it’ll probably take a few months to get all the birth control out of my system and back on a regular cycle again.

The best part? I don’t even have to worry because everyone I know is doing it for me! Ha, wouldn’t that be nice if that’s how it worked?

I’m totally aware that getting pregnant is just the beginning and there are no guarantees. I’m not pinning all my hopes for happiness on this.

It’s more like mothering, in addition to stand-up and writing, it’s what I’m here to do. I feel like that’s what I am meant to do.

If it’s in God’s plan, it’ll happen and if it’s not meant to be… I’m just leaving it up to him.

 

overwhelmed